zeborah: Zebra with stripes falling off (stress and confusion)
So I picture this person coming along to my house and strolling up to the back door, all, "I'm gonna be rich, rich!!!" They've planned it all out, right, they're even wearing gloves, that's how cunning they are. So they bash the door in with a hammer or something, powerful enough anyway that it splinters the inside of the door frame. Maybe it's a mighty martial arts kick, or maybe that's just in their dreams. Then they wander on through the kitchen into the living room, and they turn the light on (I suspect this was done around twilight) while singing their "I'm gonna be rich!" song, and then the burglar alarm starts beeping.

Well, crap.

But our would-be burglar doesn't give up so easily, no! If only they can stop the alarm they'll be sweet, right? So they find the alarm control panel and rip it off the wall, which would have been the perfect plan if burglar alarm manufacturers hadn't foreseen this exact ploy. So then the alarm starts blaring in earnest.

Well, crap.

But there's one more chance: maybe if they rip the fuses out it'll stop the alarm, right? Whether this would have worked (it wouldn't; burglar alarm manufacturers have thought of power cuts too) they may never have discovered, because my fuse box is ancient and scary and the only fuses they managed to pull out belonged to the microwave, kettle, and fridge though bizarrely not to the pantry light located in the middle of those three. (There are days when I want to get someone in to redo the entire fusebox simply for aesthetic purposes.) And the siren is right above the fusebox and is really really loud and just will not stop.

Well, crap, thinks our would-be burglar, and flees the scene without pausing to pick anything up along the way.

So no-one notices any of this, partly because the house on one side of me lacks inhabitants and a wall, and the house on the other side of me has just got new tenants as of Tuesday so they're probably still moving stuff in; and partly because the alarm's a lot quieter when you leave the house than when you're standing right under it.

Scene break. (Possibly even opening credits.)

After a productively busy afternoon/evening at work and an unexpectedly early bus, I get home at quarter to ten and Boots runs out to meet me miaowing, "Hey, hey, hey, guess what, guess what? I'm hungry!"

Cats really make very suboptimal guard dogs.

So I'm walking up the drive promising Boots dinner and I notice that the living room light is on. I think, this is weird, has maybe... some member of my family decided to just... pop in? for a visit??? Or maybe I left the light on in the morning, that's more plausible; stupid but-- On the other hand, I think, I'm pretty sure I didn't leave the back door open like that. (I had, by this time, seen through the window that no-one was there, but kept my cellphone in hand, thumb perched on the "1".) I went on in without touching anything and found the burglar alarm control panel lying on the floor, at which the siren (having got bored earlier) decided to go off again.

Here I dropped my bags (despite one of them being my "This goes with me everywhere" bag which I have abundant practice keeping on my person under stress); checked that the laptop borrowed from church was still where it should be, while forgetting to check on my own laptop; and went across the road to the neighbours to borrow their phone, while holding my own cellphone in my hand. Well, I needed their phonebook anyway, to get the non-emergency number, and company was good so that one at least made sense. Anyway they were so lovely that I was halfway through talking to the police before realising that I'd got them out of bed.

Things start getting boring here, of course. The police don't bother coming out immediately unless you've actually seen an actual person. So I phoned a) a security company to come and fix the alarm system and b) my parents, who had the gall to be out having lives or something, but my sister got her friend to bring her over and I found a working power outlet to plug the kettle into to make us all milo. The back door we managed to wedge securely shut -- or at least secure enough since we don't get nor'westers this time of year -- and my sister stayed the night. I got to bed about half past eleven, and to sleep some time later.

(I am, I should say here, quite okay: the evidence that they were barely in the house before panicking is a great psychological comfort, and I don't tend to get nervous easily anyway. I mean, I slept with my cellphone to hand, but mostly because I could rather than because I was scared not to. Taking time to get to sleep was just a combination of adrenaline with the inevitable tendency to attempt to memorise everything I'd want to show the police.)

Today I worked from home -- "from home" for obvious reasons, "worked" because I have deadlines tomorrow (not life-altering but definitely non-elastic). Fortuitously, the laptop borrowed from church has the very software I needed to ensure I meet that deadline. Last night I'd made a checklist:
  • Police
  • Builder
  • Locksmith
  • Insurance
  • Switch desk-shift
  • Switch that other appointment
  • Return neighbour's earmuffs along with chocolates
All of which I managed to achieve (it helped that the lovely builder guy undertook to deal with the locks himself) while also answering virtual reference queries and creating most of a powerpoint presentation (some slides I've got only at work).

The doorframe isn't quite fixed tonight, but the kludge is very secure, and Dad will come around tomorrow and let the nice man in to finish fixing it; then I just need to send invoices to the insurance company, pay a small excess, and it's done: much more civilised than earthquakes. Not to mention I get all the excitement of a good story to tell, and none of the inconvenience or ickiness of possessions actually stolen.

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zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
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